Wayne Elsey is a man on a mission. He lives to change minds and lives and show how anyone can go from “surviving to thriving.” He believes that the idea of for-profit and social impact are not mutually exclusive ideas, and he’s proven it by achieving the highest pinnacles of success in business, non-profit and social enterprise work.
At the age of 15, Wayne walked into a retail store as a student in high school and participated in a work-study program. That job changed his life. He discovered his passion for shoes, and through decades of work, the one constant has always been shoes––in the for-profit, nonprofit and social enterprise world.
In the footwear industry, Wayne worked his way from salesman in a small retail store to being the senior-most executive in two international shoe manufacturing companies. After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, he founded Soles4Souls, which is a nonprofit that places over 20 million pairs of shoes on the feet of adults and children following some of the world’s largest natural disasters, including the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He also grew the non-profit in fewer than five years from zero budget to one of over $74 million.
Today, his company, Elsey Enterprises, offers consulting, fundraising and business services for nonprofit organizations, social enterprises and for-profits looking to make the biggest social impact possible through several independent brands: Funds2Orgs, Not Your Father’s Charity, str@tegic, Sneakers4Funds, Shoes With Heart, CELG Freight and SocialGoodU.
Wayne Elsey is a member of the prestigious Forbes Business Development Council, which is an invitation-only community of senior level sales and business executives. He is an author and authority on leadership and topics related to motivation, marketing, business and personal success. His national network appearances include Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Today Show, & Fox News.